Reports from Second Light Cruiser Squadron

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COMMODORE'S REPORTS.— 2nd LIGHT CRUISER SQUADRON

Page 175

Enclosure No. 11 to Battle Cruiser Fleet Letter No. B.C.F. 01 of 12/6/16

No. 037/5. Southampton, 2nd June 1916.

SIR,
I HAVE the honour to submit the following report of the proceedings of the Second Light Cruiser Squadron, consisting of H.M. Ships SOUTHAMPTON (wearing my Broad Pendant), NOTTINGHAM (Captain Charles B. Miller), BIRMINGHAM (Captain Arthur A. M. Duff), and DUBLIN (Captain Albert C. Scott) during the operations on 31st May and 1st June :-

3lst May

2. The enemy were reported by the Senior Officer, 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, between 2.23 and 2.56 p.m.

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3. At 4.40 p.m. SOUTHAMPTON sighted and reported enemy's battle fleet bearing S. by E., steering N. The Second Light Cruiser Squadron closed to within 13,000 yards to observe enemy's battle fleet, and came under very heavy fire.
At 5.00 p.m. the Second Light Cruiser Squadron turned Northwards and followed our battle cruisers and 5th battle squadron. The Second Light Cruiser Squadron were at this time practically in line with the rear ship of the 5th battle squadron, and came under a very heavy fire from time to time until about 6.05 p.m.; no damage, however, resulted.

4. At 6.15 p.m. our battle fleet was sighted right ahead.

5. At 6.35 p.m. WARSPITE suddenly turned South and ran in towards the German line, coming under heavy concentrated fire.

WARSPITE shortly afterwards rejoined the line at the rear. During this time the Second Light Cruiser Squadron occupied position "N" (in accordance with Grand Fleet Battle Orders, page 41).

6. At about 6.40 p.m. the action appeared to become general.

7. At 6.47 p.m. the Second Light Cruiser Squadron turned in towards the German line partly to finish off a disabled battleship, but more to observe the enemy's rear more clearly, their course being in doubt. Enemy's turn to E.S.E. was reported by SOUTHAMPTON at 7.04 p.m.

The Squadron now came under heavy fire from the German battle fleet, and it became necessary to return to the rear of our battle line.

Between 6.55 and 7.05 p.m. water and spray was constantly coming on board SOUTHAMPTON from enemy's salvoes, which were dropping all round the ship.

8. At 7.30 p.m. the Germans altered course together to S. by W., and their destroyers made an effective smoke screen, as the German fleet was now in bad light.

9. At about 8.30 p.m. a German destroyer was sighted and fired on by SOUTHAMPTON and DUBLIN, who hit her heavily amidships. She was afterwards sunk by a division of our destroyers.

10. At 9.00 p.m. the enemy's destroyers attempted to attack our 5th battle squadron from the North-West. They were driven off by the Second Light Cruiser Squadron; one destroyer was observed to have been hit.

11. At 10.20 p.m. the Squadron was engaged with five enemy ships, apparently a cruiser and four light cruisers, who concentrated on SOUTHAMPTON and DUBLIN at very short range. The action was very sharp while it lasted (about 15 minutes), and the casualties in SOUTHAMPTON were heavy. Detailed lists of killed and wounded in SOUTHAMPTON and DUBLIN have been forwarded separately.[1]

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Three fires broke out on board SOUTHAMPTON during the action; these were promptly extinguished, though the hoses had been very much cut up by shell fire.
12. On the enemy retiring, SOUTHAMPTON, NOTTINGHAM, and BIRMINGHAM proceeded and remained astern and on starboard quarter of the centre of the battle fleet during the night, as it was not known what protection they had against destroyer attack. Firing astern was heard at intervals between 10.30 p.m. and 2.00 a.m.
DUBLIN became detached from the Squadron during the night, and did not rejoin till 10.00 a.m. the next day.

1st June

13. Squadron, except DUBLIN regained touch with our Battle Cruiser Fleet at 4.30 a.m., and proceeded as ordered.
SOUTHAMPTON passed a mine, with horns, at 4.25 a.m. in Latitude 55° 25' N., Longitude 6° 11' E.
14. The behaviour of all ranks and ratings of SOUTHAMPTON while the ship was in the trying position of receiving a heavy fire from 11 and 12-in. guns without being able to return it, and also during the night action with fires breaking out on board was in every way in accordance with the best and highest traditions of the Service.

1***** 15. A track chart^ of movements of " Southampton " is enclosed (Enclosure 2).

I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,

W. E. GOODENOUGH,

Commodore,

Second Light Cruiser Squadron,


The Vice-Admiral Commanding,

Battle Cruiser Fleet,

H.M.S. " Lion."

Enclosure No. 12 to Battle Cruiser Fleet. Letter No. B.C.F. 01 of 12/6/16

No. 037/7. " Southampton," 5th June 1916.

Sir, In continuation of my letter No. 037/5 of 2nd June, I have the honouPto report that from a piece of shell found on board " Southampton " it appears that one of the cruisers engaged with the Second Light Cruiser Squadron at 10.20 p.m. on 31st May was armed ^\dth 9-4-in. guns, probably the " Roon " or " FUrst Bismarck."

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The course of the enemy squadron was S.S.E., and position at 10.20 p.m. Latitude 56° 10' Nl., Longitude 6° 11' E. When beaten off, they appeared to retire to the westward. One torpedo (high speed setting) was fired at close range by " Southampton " at 10.21 p.m. It is worth observing that when passing within about a mile of the spot, by reckoning, at 11.30 a.m. the next day, the sea was covered b}^ oil, for an area of about a square mile. I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

W. E. GOODENOUGH,

Commodore,

2nd Light Cruiser Squadron.


The Vice-Admiral Commanding,

Battle Cruiser Fleet,

H.M.S. " Lion."


Enclosure No. 13 to Battle Cruiser Fleet Letter No. B.C.F. 01 of 12/6/16

No. 037/8. " Birmingham," 6th June 1916.

Sir, I HAVE the honour to submit the enclosed reports of proceedings on 31st May and 1st June, which have been received from H.M. Ships " Nottingham," " Birmingham," and " Dublin."

I have the honour to be. Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

W. E. GOODENOUGH, Commodore.

The Vice-Admiral Commanding,

Battle Cruiser Fleet,

H.M.S. " Lion."

Details still to be included

CAPTAIN'S REPORT.—H.M.S. "BIRMINGHAM."

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CAPTAIN'S REPORT. —H.M.S. "DUBLIN."

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Page 183

STATEMENT OF GEORGE THOS. AUG. PARKYN, STOKER 1st CLASS, EX "TIPPERARY." RESCUED AT SEA ON THE MORNING OF 1st JUNE 1916.

Details still to be included


CAPTAIN'S REPORT.— H.M.S."NOTTINGHAM."

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Notes

To Page 185

  1. (original footnote) Not printed.